Mark Twain Quotes
Sacred cows make the best hamburger
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

A good lie will have traveled half way around the world while the truth is putting on her boots.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

All our acts, reasoned and unreasoned, are selfish.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom when he can no longer be led by the nose.

A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.

A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

Adam and Eve had many advantages but the principal one was that they escaped teething.

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

All generalizations are false, including this one.

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

Always tell the truth; then you don’t have to remember anything.

An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven’t been done before.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Be good and you will be lonesome.

Better a broken promise than none at all.

“Be Yourself” is about the worst advice you can give to people.

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?

By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.

Buy land - they’re not making it anymore.

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

Deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can’t pray a lie - I found that out.

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.

Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.

Familiarity breeds contempt - and children.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.

Get your facts first - then you can distort them as much as you please.

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.

Going to law is losing a cow for the sake of a cat.

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

He is now rising from affluence to poverty.

He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot.

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.

Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me.

I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.

I can live for two months on a good compliment.

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.

I could never learn to like her, except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight.

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.

I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.

I make it a rule never to smoke while I’m sleeping.

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.

I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying “flee at once - all is discovered.” They all left town immediately.

I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way.

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.

If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.

If to be interesting is to be uncommonplace, it is becoming a question, with me, if there are any commonplace people.

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

In India, “cold weather” is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.

In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities.

It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

It is best to keep your mouth shut and be presumed ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt.

It is best to read the weather forecasts before we pray for rain.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.

It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.

It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.

It is not best that we should all think alike; it is differences of opinion that make horse races.

It used to take me all vacation to grow a new hide in place of the one they flogged off me during school term.

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement.

Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.

Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.

Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.

Love your enemy - it will scare the hell out of them.

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

Man - a creature made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them.

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name BZJXXLLWCP is pronounced Jackson.

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.

No sinner is ever saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon.

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.

Not until you become a stranger to yourself will you be able to make acquaintance with the Friend.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.

October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.

Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain’t nothing can beat teamwork.

Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government ever heard of on earth.

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial “we.”

Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author.

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.

Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.

Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know.

Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

She is not refined. She is not unrefined. She keeps a parrot.

Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

The Christian’s Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

The educated Southerner has no use for an “R”, except at the beginning of a word.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

The institution of royalty in any form is an insult to the human race.

The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.

The Public is merely a multiplied “me.”

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

The secret of success is to make your vocation your vacation.

The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

There are many humorous things in the world: among them the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.

There are people who think that honesty is always the best policy. This is a superstition; there are times when the appearance of it is worth six of it.

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.

There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress.

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist - except an old optimist.

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.

To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.

To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.

Virtue was never as respectable as money.

Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.

We are all alike, on the inside.

We have the best government in the world... that money can buy.

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.

When in doubt tell the truth.

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.

When you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend.

When you cannot get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Whoever is happy will make others happy too.

Why is it that people rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the people involved.

Words are only painted fire; a book is the fire itself.

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

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